Famously the Espace Killy ski area is, more than any other, designed for skiers to be able to cross between the resorts with ease. It’s part of what makes the 300km ski area so special. But what about if you’re looking for something a little more unique?

Ski touring in Val d'Isere - Photo Credit: Val d'Isere Tourist Board

Ski touring in Val d'Isere - Photo Credit: Val d'Isere Tourist Board

Anyone who has been to Val d’Isere can see why ski touring there might be incredible; the glacier alone provides powder for days. Ski touring companies have been running tours in the valley for over twenty years, and although young skiers come from miles around and set off down any number of the snow covered slopes, whether they are groomed runs or not, there is plenty of snow that has yet to be touched. Just because there are people skiing it, doesn’t actually mean it’s safe to ski; part of the reason the Espace Killy region has such a fierce reputation is the tendency of crazy young skiers to set off across off piste with very little concern about personal safety.

 

Fresh tracks in Val d'Isere - Credit Adrian Louden

Fresh tracks in Val d'Isere - Credit Adrian Louden

Taking a guide with you in these situations is wise, and I’m not just saying that for safety reasons. There’s a reason these guys are professional guides; they’ll know where all the best off piste is, and they won’t feel strangely obligated to go down that bit there because it’s been skied, so it’s probably safe. They also carry all the equipment you need to ski back country safely, like an avalanche probe and a shovel. Off-piste guiding companies are littered across the resort, and they have a wealth of experience behind them to help you have the best day possible.

 

Oxygene sk and snowboard hire Val d'Isere - Photo Credit Oxygene

Oxygene sk and snowboard hire Val d'Isere - Photo Credit Oxygene

Depending on how much ski touring and off-piste you’ve done, there are a few great off-piste guiding companies and schools to choose from. For your first experience backcountry skiing Oxygene is a great bet; they provide all the equipment, and they’ll give you a full three hours instruction, and discovery of the area. Another well established off-piste guiding company is Alpine Experience; they really know their stuff, and they’ll take the time to teach you proper safety procedures and some handy technical advice for those who are struggling. These guys have all been guiding the Espace Killy area for years, and they know how to stay safe while they enjoy the best of the Powder; they’ll have been in the area long enough to know whether the snow is built on a good base, or if the warm streams that run down the valleys come summer time have made the snow unstable and liable to slip. Ski guides really are the best way to have the most fun off-piste in the safest way.